First off, we have to contend with the fact that like most aimless people who kind of need someone standing over them barking orders to get them to get anything done, Mike hates being told where to go and what to do. It's easier to watch other people live his life for him:
because television tells him that they're supposed to.
It could be said that pretty much every trouble Mike has stems from his belief that commercial television has any sort of bearing on reality. Elly is a 'bad' mother because she's a real person instead of a sitcom mutant. Liz is clearly plotting his ruin because kid sisters on television act like little adults. The girls he mistreats are believed to be soap opera bitch queens instead of the vulnerable and messed up people they are. Hell, even he himself doesn't know who he is because he sees himself as the protagonist in his life.